When you think of antivirus software, you probably think of a free, full-featured program that can protect your computer from viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Some people might not see the need to buy software that scans their files or protects against malware. But, most people would agree that a properly functioning antivirus is as necessary as they come.

Antivirus software is so expensive because of the resources that go into its development. Complex malware detection and elimination technologies take time to develop, test, and roll out to customers. Additionally, the more the features in your antivirus, the more it costs.

There are many good reasons to buy antivirus software instead of getting the cheapest option available.

As technology races forward, sophisticated viruses and malware keep pace, making antivirus software crucial.

This article explains why antivirus software is so expensive and how to get around it.

anti-virus graphic designed with computer hardware

How much does antivirus software cost?

Antivirus software costs a bit of a penny per day. Sometimes, it’s not a high price to pay, seeing as how it can save you from a multitude of computer security problems. But how much does the software really cost?

Antivirus software costs anywhere between $20-50 a year on average, although factors like the creator and number of PCs also come into play. For instance, enterprise antivirus software costs more, depending on the number of PCs hooked up to the system. 

On the other hand, antivirus software for personal costs less, with some providers offering free licenses to their customers.

The good news is that if you’re looking to keep your computer safe from viruses and other malware but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, there are plenty of affordable options out there.

Reasons why antivirus software is so expensive

The cost of antivirus software is only going up, with new and more advanced malware becoming increasingly challenging to detect.

To help stay ahead of the curve, companies are paying massive amounts of money for antivirus software to safeguard their assets from malicious hackers.

With that out of the way, here are the top five reasons why antivirus software is so expensive:

1. Presence of several features

The cost of antivirus software is determined by the number of features included in the package.

Some features may be essential, while others are optional and not necessary for basic protection against viruses and malware. 

Besides, the features that come with each antivirus program vary significantly from one program to another. Some programs offer more features than others and cost more money.

Customization also plays a part in the cost. Some antivirus software has more customized features than others. Some have a limited arsenal of features, which means a slightly lower price tag.

2. Cost of development

Antivirus software development takes a lot of resources, from the technology used to create the program, and human effort, to testing, deployment, and updates. 

Most companies that produce antivirus software are large corporations. A core group of people typically does the development.

These people work on the design of the software. They also work on testing to ensure that the new version works as expected. They also make sure that there are no bugs in the latest version.

Here are some of the activities that rack up the cost of development:

Antivirus software testing

Antivirus software is tested to ensure it works correctly and does what it’s supposed to do. This testing can be done by a team of test users who use the software in their daily lives.

These testers can be paid or unpaid volunteers who have agreed to test out new software versions.

The testers will use various tactics to scan for bugs and then report back what they found during testing so that the company can make adjustments if needed for future versions of their product.

Antivirus software distribution

After a new version of an antivirus product has been developed, it must be distributed to users.

This distribution can be done through an online download or a CD-ROM distributed to users. As you may have guessed, it might cost quite some money depending on the number of users.

Antivirus software maintenance

After a new version of an antivirus product has been released, the company will receive bug reports from users and testers.

These bug reports will be sent to the development team to work on making sure that their product works as expected and does not have any bugs in future versions.

You may have noticed that your antivirus is constantly updating. This updating process is one of the key costs of a decent antivirus.

Developers continually update their systems as new malware technologies emerge to keep your information safe.

This need to keep abreast of emerging cyber threats means keeping teams constantly researching and adapting existing protections.

This work is crucial to keep up with the evolving landscape of hackers and malware developers. 

All of these involve additional costs for the antivirus software user. While most antivirus software is licensed for one year, some are licensed for three years or longer.

This extended time means you’ll have to pay even more money if you want to use it after the first year.

3. Security capabilities

The level of security provided by antivirus software can also determine the program’s cost.

But, it can also vary greatly depending on the type and how much protection it offers against common threats such as viruses and malware.

Antivirus software provides security in many ways.

  • When used correctly, it can prevent viruses from infecting your computer.
  • You may use antivirus software to detect and remove spyware, pop-up ads, adware, Trojan horse malware, and other malware spread through web browsers and downloaded programs.
  • You may also use antivirus software to protect you from other types of online threats such as phishing scams and identity theft. It also scans the internet, checking for malicious websites and files that can infect your computer.

The effectiveness of antivirus software depends on how well it is programmed, supported, and maintained by the company that makes it.

Additionally, some antivirus programs include separate malware scanning and virus detection programs, while others work together with the operating system. More resources and individual apps translate to a higher price tag.

Is expensive antivirus software worth it?

a guy wondering if expensive antivirus is worth it or not

Why purchase an expensive antivirus software whereas there are less expensive software and even free antivirus software?

If you’re like most people, you probably think that antivirus software is just another gimmick meant to dig deeper into your pocket.

But the big question remains; does expensive antivirus software match the price?

Expensive antivirus software is worth it because most high-end antivirus programs provide added encryption and privacy security through advanced features. Others will go a step closer to serving other people in your circle, not just you.

For instance, it’s not uncommon to find parental control programs that safeguard your kids as they surf the dangerous online world.

Others offer browser protection which spares you from online attacks by keeping essential passwords, bank details, credit cards, and other assets safe.

These antiviruses filter spam in your emails, protecting your computer, tablet, or smartphone from malicious messages.

Finally, paid antiviruses come with top-notch technical support where your chats or calls can be replied to instantly.

For frequent internet users, expensive antiviruses are worth it as they offer far better protection features than cheaper or free antivirus software.

However, this is not to say that all costly antivirus software programs are truly worth it.

You should carefully examine their distinguishing features and see which has better value for your money in terms of the quality of protection.

Is installing free antivirus enough?

Some of the free antivirus software is initially installed on the computers by the manufacturers.

These programs do a pretty decent job protecting your computer until you download and install third-party software.

Installing free antivirus isn’t enough because free programs offer relatively basic protection and might not detect highly advanced malware threats. Unlike premium antivirus programs, free antivirus software may not have the best features to battle against advanced virus threats.

What’s more, free programs also come with annoying pop-up ads that might actually be more of a risk than a solution. Here’s a more in-depth explanation.

Have you ever wondered how antivirus developers make money when their product comes free to all users? Ads are one of the best ways to make money with free software.

Manufacturers use ads to make money through free antivirus. So, most “free” antivirus software isn’t actually free.

Annoying ads pop up out of nowhere, and you might end up clicking one or more ads, which take you to other websites that could contain risky links.

On top of that, some free antiviruses collect users’ data in exchange for the free service, making them not so safe after all.

Apart from annoying ads, free antivirus software could also have one or all the following issues:

Awful technical support

You read it right. The technical support of the free antivirus either offers very little service or nothing at all.

Only those with a premium version of the antivirus get full support – a trick manufacturers use to manipulate users to acquire premium versions.

Extremely short trial periods

Some free antivirus software expires after their trial period, meaning you have to purchase a premium version once the trial period is over.

You lose most of the advanced features in the process, which you can only get back once you renew your license.

Additionally, antivirus software can quickly become outdated and stop working overtime. If you are looking for a way to protect your computer from viruses and malware, you should consider purchasing an antivirus program.

Why do antivirus manufacturers sell more expensively on their websites?

Do you ever wonder why some antivirus software companies sell their products more expensive than others?

The reasons might be different for every company. Still, one theory we can’t seem to get over is volume pricing, where antivirus software companies sell their products at the maximum retail price.

Manufacturers sell more expensively on their websites at a retail price for single licenses to encourage businesses to purchase bulk licenses by offering them wholesale. Third-party vendors may sell the packages at a ‘discounted’ rate, but you are not assured they are the legitimate product. 

There’s no doubt that antivirus obtained from the official developer’s website is more expensive but at least you are sure to get the authentic license. There are many scam packages online that are dated and do not carry a real license. 

That’s why most people prefer buying their licenses on the manufacturer’s site rather than on third-party marketplaces.

Choosing the right antivirus software

When it comes to keeping your computer secure and your personal information safe, there are a variety of security software solutions to choose from.

However, the right software can make your computing experience and your data more secure. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the suitable antivirus software for your computer:

  • Do your research to determine how much you can afford to pay for the right antivirus software and discover what programs are hidden in the market.
  • Decide what features are important to you.
  • Consider what other anti-malware software you have installed on your computer and any other security software you might regularly use, such as firewalls and anti-spyware programs.
  • You’ll need to make sure that your security software is compatible with all of the operating systems you plan on using.
  • Have a solid backup system in place for your computer so that if the security software does fail for any reason, you can quickly and easily restore it to working order again.
  • Keep your security software up to date so that you can be sure that there are no vulnerabilities in the program and that it will protect you from cybercriminals and hackers as well as new malware threats.

If you have a computer with multiple users, it may be best for one person to install and manage all of its security features.

Having too many different types of security software installed can be confusing and difficult for a single person or group to manage effectively.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that modern computer security is becoming a competitive game, with new, more advanced attacks being developed daily.

Antivirus software can be expensive but a worthwhile investment if you have something worth protecting.